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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Story of the Ring and the Salmon


King Roderick had given to his consort, Queen Langneth, at the time of their marriage, a very precious and peculiar ring. This pledge of her husband’s regard was, it is stated, given by the frail queen to one of the courtiers. One day, after a royal hunt in the forest of Clydesdale, the king, in passing, discovered this courtier sleeping off the fatigue of the chase underneath a tree, and on his finger he observed his royal nuptial gift.

The King adroitly slipped the ring off the finger of the sleeper without awakening him, and cast it into the river. He then went home in a jealous rage, and demanded from the queen the ring he had given her, on pain of death should she fail to produce it.

In the first instance she sent to the courtier, asking him to return the ring; but, of course, he was unable to comply with her urgent request, although how he had lost it, he did not know.

In her despair, the queen went to St. Mungo, confessed all, and implored his aid. The saint pitied his fair penitent, who may have been more foolish than guilty; at all events, he lost no time in assisting her out of her most sorry plight, as he ordered a line to be cast into the river, and to have the first fish caught brought alive to him; and ofl this being done, he took from its mouth the ring in question, which he handed to the queen, who returned it to her husband, who was satisfied, and they lived happily ever after. This is "the fish that never swam" of the popular rhyme.


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